Gaza: Peace is the Problem

 Peace doesn’t need more plans. Peace requires partners willing not to kill one another, but to understand one another.

2014-07-30 by Rafael Bardají

General Sherman used to say—and he knew what he was talking about after ravaging Georgia—that, "War is hell." And he was right. That’s the nature of warfare: Destruction and death to succeed in imposing certain objectives. We are seeing it once again in the current conflict in Gaza where, unfortunately, militants die alongside innocent civilians. It’s both inevitable and unfortunate.

Nonetheless, there’s something that cannot be overlooked: Hamas is not an NGO, it’s a terrorist organization designated as such by both the U.S. State Department and the European Union. Hamas’s ideal is none other than the destruction of the State of Israel and the death of all Jews, as stated in Hamas’s foundational charter – a charter still in full force today.

Faced with ongoing attacks, Israel has all the right to defend itself. In fact, having to endure the same threat, no other nation in the world would have shown as much restraint as Israel. Take into consideration that eighty percent of Israel’s population is now within reach of rockets fired from Gaza. If you extrapolated that percentage to America, more than 250 million citizens would have to be constantly on alert for warning sirens and having to run to bomb shelters.

Thus, war is hell and nothing can be more positive than putting an end to it as soon as possible – but, not at any price. There are two things to consider for any cease-fire proposal. First, Hamas is the aggressor and, as such, its terror policy should not yield the organization any gains. Second, until Hamas doesn’t accept Israel’s right to exist, the terrorist organization must not be allowed to keep the capability to launch military attacks against Israel.

If the ceasefire allows Hamas room to rearm—as it has always been the case in the past—and Hamas continues spending the money for humanitarian aid to build tunnels in order to infiltrate Israeli territory, Hamas will attack again and Israel will have to defend itself. In other words, stopping the war now would mean that we will have war again in a few months. It’s something we have already seen in 2008 and 2012. In that sense, we must give Israel the opportunity to destroy Hamas’s infrastructure and rockets.

The only alternative that could ensure a more stable peace is that the U.S. and its allies impose a real disarmament strategy to the Gaza terrorists and thereby a generous reconstruction plan can be launched, one that really favors civilians and not the leaders of Hamas and other radical groups.

Peace and Hamas don’t go hand in hand and stability can only come by reducing Hamas’s political control over Gaza and reintroducing the Palestinian Authority there. Peace doesn’t need more plans. Peace requires partners willing not to kill one another, but to understand one another. Hamas is not and cannot be one of those partners.

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